Platforms: Xbox 360
Publisher: Konami Developer: Other Ocean Interactive
Genre: Card Game Platform Played: Xbox 360
Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium Duels is the sequel to 2010’s 5D’s: Decade Duels and picks up where the previous entry left off. For those unfamiliar, Decade Duels had the player engage in a preliminary bracket of duels, and if victorious, would allow entry into the tournament bracket with tougher opponents with somewhat random placement. Millennium Duels has taken this format and modified it for the better, no longer randomly placing opponents and giving the player far more opponents to choose from, spanning across four separate generations of Yu-Gi-Oh characters.
Upon starting the game, the player is given the chance to choose their duelist avatar image as well as proceed through a tutorial if they wish. Fans of the series and trading card game will likely be familiar will all of the rules and card types, but for players who have not kept up with the franchise, the tutorial allows for some familiarization with new card types prior to finding them in your deck or facing them in duels. It is also at this point that the player is given the opportunity to import their cards from Decade Duels if a save file is associated with the player’s gamertag. This allows all of the hard work from the previous title to be carried over, likely giving the player a significant advantage over early opponents as well.
As seen in the image above, there are four separate generations to duel through, although the player must unlock generations in order to gain access to them. Within each generation, there are four ladders, each containing four single-duel opponents and one “boss” duelist who you must defeat in a best-of-three duel. Completing a ladder grants you access to the next ladder within the generation until you’ve completed all four, allowing you to progress to the next generation of duelists. Naturally, there is a slow increase in difficulty, with opponents getting gradually more difficult, having more intricate strategies and combinations, and more powerful monsters. There are only a handful of times when significant difficulty spikes are encountered, although they are quickly addressed by grinding for better cards or modifying your deck for that specific duel.
Just as in Decade Duels, there is also an online component of Millennium Duels allowing you to play against other duelists around the world in either single or tag duels. While there are far more AI opponents in this title than its predecessor, it is still enjoyable to have the option of playing against others around the world, giving fresh challenge to players rather than pitting themselves against the same deck recipes again and again. There is also an “Expert Mode” within the game which is unlocked by completing all four of the generations on the standard difficulty. As the name suggests, the difficulty is increased and provides more of a challenge.
Fortunately, Millennium Duels has significantly more replay value than Decade Duels simply due to the large roster of characters, but there is still limited replay value unless the player opts to stick to online duels. Due to the nature of the game, it is understandable that it is not going to provide the player with hundreds of hours of fresh gameplay, but it would be nice if there was a hint of a plot for the game rather than simply dueling your way through 80 opponents.
For Yu-Gi-Oh enthusiasts, Millennium Duels will provide hours of enjoyment given that the dueling system is faithful to the card game. The return of online play allows for added replay value, although more casual fans will likely find that upon finishing the single player component that they have had enough of the game. Progressing through the generations feels natural in regards to difficulty and towards the end of the final generation, winning each duel legitimately feels like a victory. There is no plot associated with the title, and the game feels as if it is lacking something because of this. The game is perfect for gamers who only have sporadic free time as it is simple to jump in and out of the game and duels can last as little as a few minutes. If you enjoyed Decade Duels, there is a very high likelihood you will enjoy Millennium Duels even more, but if you did not invest much time in the former, you will likely encounter the same issue with this one.
+ Expansive collection of cards
+ Large number of single player opponents
+ Faithful to the card game
+ Fantastic difficulty scaling
– Limited replay value for casual fans
– No plot present
– Small online community
The Score 7.5
Eric is an Xbox editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.